Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fair

A few weeks ago, we took our annual trip to the fair with Toby's parents. The girls had a great time, but they were really only there for one reason - the carousel. They enjoyed the petting zoo, loved feeding the animals, inhaled some chocolate-covered strawberries, and had fun seeing the cows up close. None of it, though, held a candle to the carousel. See, the carousel at the fair last year is where they met their very best horse-friends, Pepper and Sara. They rode these horses last year at the fair, and they haven't been the same since. Every horse since that day has been named Pepper or Sara. They have talked about them on a regular basis. They even bought little plastic horses that resembled them. So, of course, we had to make sure they rode Pepper and Sara this year, too. And they did. Twice. In a row. Usually you have to get off the ride, get back in line, and pay again. Knowing that wouldn't go over very well, their granddad paid the attendant to let them ride twice without getting off. Needless to say, they were pretty excited. And pretty bummed when it was time to leave. There's always next year girls!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'll be loving you FOREVER!

You already know about a few of the things I am madly in love with. Of course there is my husband. Then there are my kids. And then there's the minivan. What I haven't told you about is a love that began before all of these. Before Violet, and way before my girls. Even before Toby, I've loved these five. Jordan, Joey, Donnie, Danny, and Jonathan. Oh yes, I'm talking about the New Kids On The Block!!! And I got the see them the other night! LIVE!! I can't even put the experience into words! An arena full of 30-something women, squealing like a bunch of 13-year-old girls. It was great! They were even better than they last time I saw them many, many years ago...with my dad! Who else has a dad like that?! Years may have passed, but once we walked through those doors, it was all the same. We were on our feet the entire time, hands in the air, singing and screaming. I didn't buy the $40 t-shirt, but thanks to Jennifer, a fellow NKOTB fan, I've got plenty of pictures to remember the night. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Friday, October 17, 2008

8 bags

I like to keep things. Especially things that are tied to the past. I keep letters, shoes, pictures, books, clothes, and more. I have a sweater from 8 years ago that I refuse to give away, even thought I will never wear it again. But I was wearing it when Toby proposed, so to me it still has value. Even if it's just the sentimental kind. Maybe that's why I've kept all of the girls' clothes. Really. I've kept them all. I've given away a few things to friends, but that is it. Or that was it. Until last night. The girls and I went through some of their old clothes to give away. We didn't go through everything, just about 1/3 of their old stuff. Everything I picked up had memories attached. I remembered the day they wore that shirt to the doctor's office, or how cute they looked in those dresses at church. I remembered the excitement of all of the firsts they had in those clothes. I also remembered the struggles. They liked to hold their baby clothes up to them to see if they still fit. Of course they were much too small. So small that I wondered how they ever fit into them. But they did. This time next year, I'll wonder how they ever squeezed into their little jeans that they wore this week. I'll remember how cute they looked at night in those little ladybug pajamas, and the way they giggled, talked, squealed and sang in their rooms before falling asleep. I'll remember how small their hands were and what tiny feet they had. Hopefully by then, some of the struggles of this year will also be a memory!

As I sit here, there are 8 bags of memories on our porch. 8 bags of sleepy pajamas, innocent dresses, and well-loved shoes. There are even a few pair of shorts that made a trip or two to time-out. I hope that those 8 bags will bring as much fun, love, and memories to their next families as they did to us. Minus the time-outs, of course!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

look a little closer

One of the things I used to worry about when I was pregnant with the girls is that I would not be able to tell them apart. I pictured Jesse, from Full House, mixing up his sons' socks and fearing that he would never again know which one was Nicky and which was Alex. I was pretty sure this would happen to me. At some point within the first 72 hours of their lives, I would lay them down, side by side, only to come back moments later and forget who was on the right and who was on the left. Once they were born, I realized that I had worried over nothing. Parents of twins (even identical) will always be able to tell their children apart. What I didn't count on, though, was that few others would be able to do the same. Sure, there are other relatives that we see on a weekly basis who can. I also have a handful of friends that can tell them apart almost instantly. Other than that, most people have to really think about it. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they're wrong. But they try. Other people will just take a wild guess. It doesn't bother me that people get stumped. They are identical. I get that. What bothers me is that some people don't even try. To some people, they are a set. Catherine and Grace. The twins. I try to do something to their appearance that sets them apart and makes it easier for others. I fix their hair differently, put in different colored clips, or dress them in different colored clothes. It hasn't helped. I think it's only made things worse. Instead of finding something unique about each one, people just look for the clips. They take one glance at the girls(if that!), look at me, and ask, "Who is in pink today?" I didn't even realized how much this bothered me until today. We walked into BSF this morning, and the girls' teacher was waiting for us in the hall. She greeted the girls with a huge smile, and told them how glad she was to see them. She said that she had waited all week just to see them again. Then she looked straight at Grace and said, "Hi, Grace!" At first I didn't think much about it. The girls' names were embroidered on their shirts. Of course she could tell which one was Grace! But then the teacher said something that really touched me. It probably won't mean much to you, but it did to me. She said that she knew it was Grace because of the part in her hair. She remembers Grace by saying to herself "Grace's heart," because Grace's hairline gives her face a heart shape. She has only been in this class for five weeks. And the teacher knows her. She doesn't know Catherine and Grace, or the twins. She knows Grace. And she knows Catherine. She made it a priority to learn about each of them as unique individuals, not just a set. Many people don't do this. Some people take a guess and then with a laugh say, "Well, I had a 50/50 chance!" Like I said, I know they look alike. I know it is hard to tell them apart. And yes, I know that people are not meaning to be rude or hurtful. But they aren't interchangeable. They aren't carbon copies. They are not the same. They deserve to have people know their names. Or at least act like they care. No, I'm not terribly offended when people can't tell Catherine from Grace. Yes, I am mildly annoyed when they don't even make the effort. Or when they make it half-heartedly. I know people's intentions are not bad. I know some people are just trying to be funny with the comments they make. I don't expect everyone to be able to tell them apart all the time. I just want people to be considerate. I want them to know my children. Not just my twins.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

I've been tagged! Cheryl at Twinfatuation tagged me for this meme. To play, you have to go to your sixth photo folder, and select the sixth photo from that folder to share. As it turns out, this is one of my favorite pictures...and I didn't even cheat!

This picture is of Catherine and my dad, taken the day she got her cast removed. She was almost 2 1/2 at the time, and had apparently tried to jump off the bedrail in her bedroom. Not a good idea, just in case you're wondering. Despite having to get creative with bathtime, the cast wasn't too bad. She didn't even use it as a weapon!

Now it's my turn to tag 5 people to play along...

Anna at Anna and the Boys
Sarah at Short Stop
Stephanie at Stephanie's Spot
Mandi at Stories from the Savages
Karen at Doubly Blessed

Have fun, girls! I can't wait to see what pictures you find! Even if you weren't tagged, you can still play along. Just leave a comment so we can visit your blog and check out your pictures!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Way Back When-esday

When the girls were babies, they had some major reflux issues. Even on medicine, they spit up MANY times a day. We cleaned up after them so much they eventually started doing some of their own clean up! Here they are in June of 2006, when they were about 14 months old, pretending to clean the floor. I wish they were still this interested in cleaning!

Today is Way Back When-esday! Share a picture from way back, then check Twinfatuation to see who else is playing along!